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Washington Nationals drop series opener to New York Mets, 7-6: Edwin Jackson gives up big lead in Citi Field...

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Washington’s youngster-and-bench-player-filled lineup got out to a 6-1 lead, but the Nationals ended up losing the series opener to the New York Mets, 7-6.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Washington jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the series opener in Citi Field, but Nationals’ starter Edwin Jackson imploded in a five-run fifth that made it a 6-6 game, and the New York Mets added a run on a ground-rule double to center field by Norichika Aoki in the sixth, and took the first of three with the 2017 NL East champions.

Adam Lind homered, hitting a three-run blast off Mets’ starter Robert Gsellman in the top of the third, 3-1, and Howie Kendrick (RBI single) and Victor Robles (two-run triple), put the Nationals up by five after four and a half before Aoki drove in a run with a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and scored on an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera, 6-3.

Travis d’Arnaud, who’d homered in the second for the first run of the game, took E-Jax deep again in the fifth, with a three-run blast to left-center that was his 15th HR of the season and the eighth home run off Jackson in the right-hander’s last four starts and 16 IP.

Dusty Baker’s youngster-and-bench-player-filled lineup couldn’t get much of anything going against the Mets’ ‘pen and the Nationals dropped the series opener in New York, 7-6 final.

Nationals now 92-61

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Adam Lind walked, and Victor Robles took a 2-2 fastball way inside from Robert Gsellman off his top/right hand/fingers in the first two at bats of the Nationals’ second.

A wild pitch with Rafael Bautista at the plate moved both runners into scoring position, and Bautista took a 3-2 fastball inside for a base-loading free pass, but two outs (both of them on unproductive pops) later, the bases were still loaded without a run coming in, and Edwin Jackson K’d swinging to end the threat.

Travis d’Arnaud got all of a 1-0 fastball in the first at bat of the Mets’ second, sending a solo home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. It was the eighth home run off Jackson in his last 13 IP, and d’Arnaud’s 14th of the season overall.

Alejandro De Aza sent a fly to center that Juan Lagares misjudged/misread into a one-out triple. Howie Kendrick took the second hit-by-pitch of the game by Gsellman in the next at bat, putting two on in front of Adam Lind, who lined a 2-1 fastball knee-high inside out to right for a three-run home run, 3-1 Nationals. Lind’s 13th.

De Aza reached on an error by Amed Rosario with one out in the fifth, and scored when Howie Kendrick lined a double over Lagares’s head in center to make it a 4-1 game in the Nationals’ favor. Victor Robles stepped in after an intentional walk to Adam Lind and tripled to center (No. 2) on a 1-0 fastball to drive in two more, 6-1.

• Lagares bunted his way on in the first at bat of the Mets’ fifth, stole second, and scored on an RBI single to right by Norichika Aoki, 6-2.

Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with back-to-back singles with Aoki coming in on Cabrera’s, and one out later, Travis d’Arnaud hit a first-pitch slider belt-high and outside out to left-center for a game-tying three-run blast, his second HR of the night, 6-6.

• Edwin Jackson’s Line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 77 P, 49 S, 3/2 GO/FO.

• Robert Gsellman’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 80 P, 48 S, 3/2 GO/FO.

Chasen Bradford worked around a two-out single by Wilmer Difo in a nine-pitch sixth.

Juan Lagares doubled off Joe Blanton with one down in the Mets’ half of the sixth, and took third on a wild pitch that got through Pedro Severino’s five hole, but Blanton got pinch hitter Phillip Evans looking with a 3-2 curve for out No. 2 before Norichika Aoki hit a 1-1 two-seamer to center for a go-ahead, ground-rule, RBI double, 7-6.

Paul Sewald stranded a runner in a 14P seventh after the Mets took the lead.

Enny Romero, with help from Alejandro De Aza, who tracked a fly to the wall, played it perfectly and threw a strike to second to get Asdrubal Cabrera for the first out, threw a scoreless, 12-pitch seventh to keep it a one-run game.

Shawn Kelley was 17 pitches into the eighth when he shook out his arm after a pitch, looked to the dugout and called out the trainer, Lee Kuntz, Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker and the Nationals’ pitching coach Mike Maddux. Kelley left the game there with an as-yet undisclosed issue. More info when it’s available...

Matt Albers finished off the eighth.

A.J. Ramos got the ball in the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk to Wilmer Difo, but got one out with help from Norichika Aoki, who made a sliding catch on a liner to right by Alejandro De Aza with a runner on and no one out. Howie Kendrick lined a single to right in the next at bat, however, putting runners on first and third with one down.

Mets’ skipper Terry Collins went to the pen for Josh Smoker at that point, to face Adam Lind, who popped out to shallow left for out No. 2.

Collins then went to Jeury Familia vs Victor Robles, and Familia got a swinging K to end it. Ballgame. Final Score: 7-6 Mets.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • Washington and New York were tied at 82-82 in the all-time series between the two teams at the start of the 2014 campaign, but since then the Nationals are 46-27.
  • This this season the Nationals have taken 11 of 16 games with the Mets.
  • Washington’s 47-28 record on the road this season in the NL’s best and the third-best in the majors.
  • Coming into tonight’s game, the Mets have lost eight of their last ten overall, and are 22 games under .500 with a 33-41 record in Citi Field.
  • The Mets are 1-6 against the Nationals in Citi Field in 2017 and 5-12 against the Nats at home since the start of the 2016 campaign.
  • Washington’s offense has a total of 202 home runs on the season, one short of the record in Nationals’ franchise history, set in 2016.
  • New York is tied for the NL lead with Milwaukee with 215 home runs on the season, the second-highest total in team history.
  • Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in SLG (.450), runs scored (777), and OPS (.782), and they’re ranked second in the NL in AVG (.267), and extra-base hits (525).
  • Ryan Zimmerman’s home run last night was his 34th of the 2017 campaign, a new career-high for the veteran infielder.
  • Edwin Jackson started the night (3-2) with a 3.67 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.

Nationals now 92-61